Nissan is coming under pressure to issue a recall of its D40 Navara, following reports that some models have snapped in half due to a faulty chassis.

Images of broken Navaras have been posted to a dedicated Facebook group for owners, with some appearing to have snapped while being driven.

According to The Sun newspaper, the Japanese manufacturer has known about the issue, which Nissan claimed affects a “relatively small number” of previous-generation models built between 2004 and 2015, for a year.

“We’ve put measures in place to quickly resolve the concerns of any customers who have contacted us about this. Nissan is backing customers even though the affected vehicles are up to 12 years old,” a spokesman said. “Depending on the age of the vehicle, these measures include a free and independent inspection of the vehicle where appropriate. If the inspection shows there’s an issue, we’ll do the right thing by the customer under our warranty and customer service policies.”

However, owners of affected vehicles are now demanding that Nissan issues a full recall, claiming they are driving “deathtraps”, but Nissan insisted it is treating each customer on a case-by-case basis.

A 57-plate Navara owner who contacted What Van? said: “Nissan should be made to recall all vehicles and compensate the owners for selling sub standard vehicles.”

He added that his vehicle was inspected by the manufacturer and was told the issue of rust was due to the anti-rust treatment not working properly and the chassis deteriorating from the inside out.

Navara owners have claimed their vehicles’ resale values have plummeted thanks to the possibility of the trucks snapping in half. One member of the Facebook group claimed his 57-plate Aventura model lost £3,000 overnight.

“Owners who are currently going through the inspection process [undertaken by Nissan] despite loving their trucks, are praying they will fail as it is the only financially viable way of getting rid of the ticking time bomb that is the Navara,” the member said.

Another owner said they phoned a main Nissan dealer to enquire about a trade-in value on a 08-plate Navara only to be offered a reduced price due to the “chassis issue” of the model.

Others claim to have been told by independent inspectors their vehicles are not fit to be driven on the road despite assurances from Nissan their pick-ups are roadworthy.

Andy Picton, chief commercial vehicle editor at Glass’s, told What Van? that while it is too early to draw conclusions, the issue is likely to affect Navara residual values.

“As the Sun is a typical ‘white van man’ paper, several readers may run away from buying them. I would predict a downward spiral in values.

“The true barometer of the market will be what they go for at auction,” he added.